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Tuesday’s Xcerpts

Staff

Because the X Games is such a prestigious event, you rarely see a talent gap as big as that which there is in women’s pipe skiing. Even for the likes of Shaun White and Janna Meyen, who completed fourpeats in snowboarding slopestyle this week, there are other athletes out there who can at least keep it close.

But in women’s pipe skiing, Grete Eliassen is so much better than her peers that the only choice others have is to compare her to men.

Asked if Eliassen ” who is half-Norwegian and half-American ” could legitimately compete with the guys, Norwegian freeskier Andreas Hatveit said: “Maybe, yeah. She would probably not get last place in the (X Games) pipe qualifier. Because she’s going huge.”

It’s true. Eliassen, 19, launches almost twice as high as most of her female competition. The former junior world champion in super G does impossible tricks like the men, too. “The alley-oop 540 on her second hit,” said Hatveit, who won bronze in Saturday’s best trick contest. “It’s like 10 feet out, and it’s so steezy and nice looking. And that’s a really hard trick to do. Not many guys can do that so big and so good.”

Eliassen was born to be a freeskier. To wit, during her final FIS race, a slalom, she skied across the finish line going backward.

– – – –

Tanner Hall’s comeback from a career-threatening injury (he broke both ankles and heels last March) is not to be overlooked. The 22-year-old Kalispell, Mont., native came a long, long, long way to compete at Winter X Games 10, as ESPN poignantly documented in a piece that aired Monday night.

We caught up with Hall’s brother, Tyson, Tuesday afternoon. Tyson, 25, said despite the grim outlook, there was no question his brother would return. “The lowest point was when he hurt himself, right then. As soon as we went in to the doctors and the doctor gave us a time frame and gave us an idea of what he was facing, Tanner was like, ‘Let’s get it done. I’ve got to be skiing. I’ve got to be (at the X Games).’ And he’s here. He proved everybody wrong. Everybody.”

As for Tanner’s new hardware in his foot, Tyson said: “He’s got a little titanium cheese wedge, or cheese plate, that’s kind of holding some bones together stabilizing it. But at this point he’s healed up.”

– – – –

Ever done 38 pull-ups? That’s what it would take to break the record at the Navy SEAL pull-up challenge booth, which is set up in the Winter X village. A local firefighter named Lance did 37 last year, and 36 earlier this week. The SEAL booth gives away a snowboard daily to a top contestant.

By the way, the record for a female was set by an 8-year-old gymnast, who did 25 earlier this week. She returned later that day and did 19. In contrast, the adult male reporter who wrote this could only manage 12.


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